Well folks I’m a day early this week, albeit still in self quarantine till midnight Sunday.
I thought it would be appropriate to bring forward my weekly wrap given a number of you will no doubt be distracted on Friday ahead of election day on Saturday.
Like the great majority of elected members, I’m glad the election is being held on Saturday.
The only reason it is proceeding is because our Premier has wisely heeded the advice of the state’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeanette Young.
Dr Young’s advice has consistently been that it is safe to vote.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland has been instrumental in ensuring the process is as safe as possible, both by extending pre-polling hours and by taking extra precautions at polling booths to help protect both booth workers and voters alike.
The large number of postal vote applications lodged – about 570,000 – has also helped to ease the number of voters attending polling booths across the state.
Voters have responded to these new measures in unprecedented numbers with more than 912,000 Queenslanders having their say early.
If this trend continues then we can expect to see more than half of all eligible voters having their say by the time pre-polling closes on Friday ahead of election day on Saturday, a record of epic proportions.
The LGAQ has (and will continue to run until 6pm Saturday) our first ever paid ‘Get out the Vote’ campaign.
It is running in social media with the full blessing of the State Government and the ECQ.
We are doing our bit to maximise the total votes cast.
Given I’ve been through eight council elections whilst CEO of the LGAQ and another three in my council CEO days I reckon I’ve got a good handle on what might occur on polling day.
I expect to see minimal change in Mayoral ranks, the lowest in a long while which is completely in line with our pre- Christmas Colmar Brunton community attitude survey results.
We start with 15 Mayors elected unopposed - a record in percentage terms, and another nine mayors retiring.
There is no reason why the same trend won’t apply to councillors.
My strong sense is electors were already largely happy with their councils and that will be reinforced by the uncertainty and fear that the coronavirus has created in our communities.
Voters tend to stick with the tried and true in tough times.
Finally, for all retiring elected members thank you for your service and to all those recontesting the best of luck on Saturday.